Variations, transitions.. keeping things interesting?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Dominik
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Post by Dominik » Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:32 pm

Modeselektor - Dancing Box (Live)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgocxagMFV0

nice.

Toob
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Post by Toob » Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:11 pm

ethios4 wrote:I tend to approach variations mathematically. For example, if I have a 32 bar loop, I'll first make a drum fill at bar 16 and 32. Then I'll make a smaller variation at bar 8 and 24. Then I'll make a smaller variation at bars 4, 12, 20, and 28. This mimics the natural phrasing of a lot of music, and is a good starting point for me. Of course, there are other patterns, but this is the most basic one.
Sounds cool! Can you post a(n) (simple) example?

Warminstrel
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Post by Warminstrel » Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:02 pm

One of the best threads so far;

Too much attention is made to the processing & technical aspect when at the end of the day we're all looking for to make tunes that people like to listen to and react in certain ways, be it to dance or whatever.

Back in the 80's i had a crappy twin cassette deck that I used to overdub drums from a Yamaha keyboard, guitars, keys and noises etc.

I was never bothered about compression or phase shift, I just made tunes.

The funny thing is that after listening to my old tapes it struck me that the arrangement back then was spot on, every bar sounded slightly different as all was played real time.

I’ve got hundreds of half finished tunes on my hard drive at present. If I had the same technology back then that I have today there would be a handful of finished albums.

To that end, i think that those of us that started with humble analogue kit, be it guitar, keyboard etc...need to tap into the thing that got us hungry to make tunes in the first place and Live has to be the ultimate tool for this.

Not sure how to get that 'care-free' attitude back but knowing its missing may be half the problem??

Another positive aspect of a thread regarding creativity is that no techy anal topic tosser can tell you to 'read the manual' or 'go to the noobs section'

furrybum
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Post by furrybum » Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:34 pm

What I tend do do as a slight variation to using lots of different patterns is switch drum banks half way through a tune. This is fun to experiment with as you can sometimes find much better drum combos than you'd been programming your loop with. Then I combine elements of the old and new loops and spaz it all up properly!!
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amcnally336
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Post by amcnally336 » Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:35 pm

I posted this in response to another thread, but it seems appropriate, here:

I think the most concrete way to get a better understanding of the nature of rhythm is to DO RHYTHM. By this, I mean it would be tremendously helpful to play on a real drum. Get yourself a nice little doumbek or djembe, or perhaps a set of bongos and PLAY. This will really help you internalize rhythm, rather than approaching or analysing it from an intellectual point of view. In my experience, rhythm must be EXPERIENCED to be understood. The only real way to arrive at this type of understanding is to experience it yourself through the practice of rhythm. Once you got "rhythm in your soul", it is really just a matter of technique to translate the rhythm to electronic form. This way you can apply your newly acquired sense of rhythm to the electronic medium through something like a pad kontrol or MPC, rather than intellectually drawing it in on a grid (which is cool too, but a different approach). Personally, I feel EVERY musician (actually, every human being) would benefit tremendously by playing some sort of hand-drum. This will also help you to "follow" the breaks/beats better and to improvise and change to a rhythm while still retaining a sense of the original rhythm. This adds variation and interest, and it is an extremely subtle thing that must be felt to be experienced. You will also learn how to LISTEN, particularly when playing with other rhythmatists. Also, listening to lots of rhythmically complex music is beneficial. I like Middle Eastern (Hossam Ramzy) and Indian (any tabla player...those guys are fucking aliens!) in addition to breaks/dnb/etc. You WILL, over time, start to internalize some of these approaches to rhythm, particularly if you are trying to play along or are practicing on your own. Soon enogh, rhythm becomes a part of you and then, the problem becomes turning it off! Seriously, get a drum...you will never look back!

amigo
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Post by amigo » Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:50 pm

Something I've been playing around with recently is doing variations of a drum beat, bassline, synth line or whatever and using the follow action to jump to random clips. Recording these in a new clip or in arrangement view can produce some interesting results.

polyslax
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Post by polyslax » Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:23 pm

I don't do dance trax, so this may not apply, but here are some ways I work variation and randomness in to a piece:

1. Clip envelopes - unlinked, of course. If you're running a 4 bar loop, create a clip envelope with some volume cuts, but unlink it and make the duration of the envelope something that doesn't cycle nicely within 4 bars. Throw in a pitch envelope of a different duration with a couple of subtle pitch changes and you've just added a whole bunch of randomness to that loop.

2. For loop mangling, I like to record long passages (like 300-400 bars) of a loop cycling while I destroy it with fx (i.e. play some nobs, faders or keys on your fx while you record - don't just rely on static fx). You can always layer the destroyed version with the original if you need to hold a beat down, or bring one or the other in as necessary.

3. I also like to create 40-50 versions of a loop and then turn the random clip launch feature loose on that stack of badness.

4. Similar to unlinked clip envelopes, layer rhythm clips of differing lengths to insert eccentricity into the rhythm.

5. I also like to record very long bass tracks. Even with a repetitive part, if you take the quantization off while recording you'll have some nice natural variations in timing and velocity.

6. Transpose, layer, pan, bring in a clip recorded at a different tempo and leave it on Beats for some nice chopiness.

7. Experiment, have fun, don't undo a mistake until you hear what it does to your track!
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TITBAG
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Post by TITBAG » Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:33 pm

technology ruined music. there are no fans. just delusional masturbating accountants

Yhtomit
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Post by Yhtomit » Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:38 pm

yes and groupies @ myspace

polyslax
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Post by polyslax » Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:47 pm

TITBAG wrote:technology ruined music. there are no fans. just delusional masturbating accountants
:lol:

True to an extent. When I feel technology creep I like to kick back with an acoustic guitar - it's still my home instrument and has been for (gulp!) almost 35 years now.
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ScottFree
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Post by ScottFree » Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:28 pm

change -up the drum patterns and/or drum sounds

take certain drum sounds or all of the drums completely out of the mix for a little while

switch the main instrument to something different. and then back again

take instument parts in and out of the mix

throw in some crazy sound effects or vocal samples

take the main melody line down or up an octave

layer the main melody line with a totally different sounding instrument

take the intro and copy it into the middle of the track somewhere

basically just keep the listener on his or her toes

ethios4
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Post by ethios4 » Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:49 am

Toob wrote:
ethios4 wrote:I tend to approach variations mathematically. For example, if I have a 32 bar loop, I'll first make a drum fill at bar 16 and 32. Then I'll make a smaller variation at bar 8 and 24. Then I'll make a smaller variation at bars 4, 12, 20, and 28. This mimics the natural phrasing of a lot of music, and is a good starting point for me. Of course, there are other patterns, but this is the most basic one.
Sounds cool! Can you post a(n) (simple) example?
Here's the drums and bass from a track I'm working on that uses exactly this pattern. Most of the variation is in the kick, but the hats also get treated for the major fills.
32-bar pattern here

Toob
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Post by Toob » Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:32 am

ethios4 wrote:
Toob wrote:
ethios4 wrote:I tend to approach variations mathematically. For example, if I have a 32 bar loop, I'll first make a drum fill at bar 16 and 32. Then I'll make a smaller variation at bar 8 and 24. Then I'll make a smaller variation at bars 4, 12, 20, and 28. This mimics the natural phrasing of a lot of music, and is a good starting point for me. Of course, there are other patterns, but this is the most basic one.
Sounds cool! Can you post a(n) (simple) example?
Here's the drums and bass from a track I'm working on that uses exactly this pattern. Most of the variation is in the kick, but the hats also get treated for the major fills.
32-bar pattern here
Sounds interesting! Let's see if I can do something with this approach.. thank you.

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